A Journey to Renovating my Home to be Accessible

This is going to be the beginning of a new blog. If I want to continue to live independently, I need a place that meets my disability needs. Here I will detail the journey from the first wall torn down to the end. I will discuss the intricacies of the design and why specific choices were made. It is my hope this will open people’s eyes up to what real accessibility can mean.

First, you need to understand what disabilities I and my son are up against.

Mobility. I used to get around by holding onto furniture but those days are past. I use a power chair inside the house and a mobility scooter outside. I cannot walk, but I can still transfer independently.

Vision. I have diabetic macular edema. I can’t see color well. Unless print is large and there is high contrast, I can’t read it. Glare is my undoing. My world is like a grey cloudy day.

Hearing.  I consider myself deaf. I have difficulty hearing the volume of sound, but I can often hear, but still can’t make sense of it.  I can hear a sound and have no idea where it is coming from.

Learning Disabilities.  I reverse numbers and letters.  If you tell me something  I might write it in reverse.

Pain.  I have a lot of pain issues. Some of it I have had for decades from a fall off a loft bed when my son was an infant. But other pan is more recent dues to circulation issues.

Intellectual Disability. My son has Down syndrome. He is a tremendous help to me when strength is what is needed, but not as helpful with common sense. Simple solutions are better for us both.

Mental Health. My son also has dissociative identity disorder. There are some things we need to give us safety, sound barriers, and space from each other and the community.

So we have a lot on our plate.I am hopeful I can live here until I die, and my son can continue to live here until he dies with critical support staff in place.

The goal of this blog is to change the way people think about accessibility (and I don’t mean ADA). Most of the things I need really aren’t that different than what most people would want  if they gave it some thought.

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